Buys Chinese Portal, Plans

HONG KONG (03/28/2000) - Inc., a messaging vendor that owns a portfolio of domain names including, and, today announced it will form an incubator company called to build e-commerce businesses.

It kicked off the strategy with the agreement today to acquire China-based, which will be a cornerstone of its business, said in a statement today. will buy the company in an all-stock transaction, for approximately 3.6 million shares. At Monday's closing price of US$18.125 on Nasdaq, the deal would be worth approximately $65 million.

The subsidiary of will incubate and develop business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce sites. It will build geographic sites including,,,,, and, as well as profession-oriented sites including,,,, and, the company said.

All the sites will take advantage of's capital, infrastructure, and relationships, according to the company., a majority-owned unit of, will operate a network of sites targeted at markets including Korea, Thailand and Singapore as well as Greater China, the company said. will own 94.1 percent of the company and certain shareholders will own approximately 5.9 percent, according to the statement. today provides outsourced e-mail services for corporations, Web portals, and Internet service providers. Following the creation of the operation, it will continue with these offerings, according to the company. founder and President Gary Millin will become chief executive officer of provides localized information for a number of cities in China, including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Wuhan and others. It offers news, business, sports and shopping information as well as e-mail and reservation services. It is working with Motorola Inc. to offer its content on mobile devices via WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), according to is in New York and can be reached at +1-212-425-4200 or online at

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